Beat shortening and sugar in a large bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla extract until well blended. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture at low speed until well blended. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour for easier handling. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll 1/3 of dough at a time on lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut dough with 2 to 3- inch floured cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Bake 5-9 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer cookies to cooling rack. Frost and decorate as desired.
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